“WOMEN AND THE HOME FRONT DURING WORLD WAR II…” Honoring my Mom and all military spouses and mothers…

 
 
Marcella C. Sparks…WWII Mom turning 95 this year…
 

WWII women on the home front…  Quote from this website…

“While some women joined the new female branches of the military, many of those who stayed at home went to work in factories and filled other traditionally male jobs while their husbands, fathers, boyfriends, brothers, and sons left to fight. Many women who did not fight or work for pay chose to volunteer their time and energies for the war effort.”

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My Mom pictured above was smiling today while we visited over Skype…  Marcella, now in her 95th year, is a symbol of the spouses and mothers who served too during WWII.  I write in my book how she spent the entire time during WWII as a single Mom with her first born son while Dad was in the thick of battle serving in the US Navy during Pearl Harbor and in the Asiatic Pacific Theater.  Mom worked for a time during the war, but mostly volunteered with other military spouses to help comfort military families on the home front.  Dad finally came home in June of 1945 following an extended combat deployment that never seemed to end.  Dad did not know his first born son until he was 4 years old. 

It wasn’t easy by a long stretch coming home following WWII for military families.  Thousands of combat veterans came home with emotional baggage and had to learn to cope and live without treatment.  Battle buddies were killed, much death and carnage was experienced, and the collateral damage ripped out hearts and destroyed souls.  They came home to learn how to be husbands and fathers for the first time…  WWII combat veterans often struggled for a lifetime as spouses and as a parent.  If they were lucky treatment and peace of mind came later in life.

The military spouses and mothers had to pick up the pieces and become care givers without a whole lot of knowledge or experience.  We didn’t know about moral injury or PTSD at that time.  I remember vividly how difficult it was for Mom to care for Dad’s challenging needs while raising our family.  The rest of we siblings arrived after WWII and are now proud members of the “boomer” generation coming of age.  We didn’t talk about domestic violence then and really didn’t understand it anyway.  It seemed like we were “military brats” and lived in a highly troubled home culture…  For us the chaos seemed normal.  The entire family was affected.  It was our mother who kept us all together during those years following WWII and through the Korean War as well.

I have much compassion and respect for my mother and attempt to keep her spirits high with humor when we get together over Skype and during visits.  Her smile made my day!  Seeing her with some peace of mind and in the hands of loving caregivers is healing for me as well.  Mom is proud to tell us that she is a “tough cookie.”  I treasure the time we have each Sunday to talk and laugh over Skype.  My own journey of healing has helped me see my parents differently.  I now understand the challenges of life after war and have a deep personal desire to make up for all the years of being an angry son…  It is in this spirit that my days are most rewarding in helping others find their own path of healing from traumatic life experiences, including war.

Steve Sparks
Author
Reconciliation: A Son’s Story  Click to order or download Kindle version…


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